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Dad from a distance: Reflections on Father's Day

Being Dad from a distance text
Posted August 27, 2019

In her reflection, Major Glenys Fairhurst invites us into Father's Day from a different perspective. Her prayer weaves God the Father, her late husband's love, and acknowledges the pain of fathers separate from their children in this intertwining blessing of hope over dads.

This year, I sent Fathers’ Day cards to the fathers of my grandchildren, telling them how much I appreciate them. I told them how proud my late husband would have been of them.  

Later, I wondered what God, their Heavenly Father, may have said to them to encourage them in their parenting of the next generation. Maybe it would have been something a little like this:

'Dear Son,

Thank you for the example you are to your children. 

I am proud of who you are and how you are influencing your children to be good citizens. I share your sorrow that since your divorce, your access to your precious little ones has been limited. Being Dad from a distance is not how you had hoped to be a parent. It certainly wasn’t what I had planned for you either. I watch you make the most of every contact with your children. You input memories into their experience. You demonstrate your love for them.

I share your sorrow that since your divorce, your access to your precious little ones has been limited.

Physical separation does not restrict your connectedness. Hopefully your children know they are loved by you even when you are apart. I hope your children offer you as much respect as you showed your dad.

You are like your own dad in many ways. He set an example of how to love and be loved. He cried with you when your dog died. He commended you when you achieved, and he challenged you when you didn’t.

He comforted you when you were crushed. His hugs were an embrace from his heart when your heart was broken. He did what he could to warm your heart even when your interaction with him seemed cold. He did what he could to develop your potential to be a good dad and did his best - there were moments when you learnt how not to do things as well as to follow his example.

Even though he is no longer physically present, he is still your dad from a distance in a different way. Death need not diminish your remembrance of loving someone and of being loved.

Neither death, nor distance, can separate you from my love.

Happy Father’s Day.

Your loving Heavenly Father,

God.'